The hint was as subtle as the unobtrusive manner in which he played his cricket. A single line press release that popped into the mail-boxes of sports journalists on Thursday morning, stated: “Mr. N. Srinivasan, President, BCCI, and Mr. Rahul Dravid will address the media at 12.30 p.m. on Friday, 9 March 2012, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.” Dravid is likely to announce his retirement from a game he has graced with such class and distinction at the international level ever since that 95 in his debut Test at Lord's in 1996.

Test cricket's second highest run-getter (13,288) and the World record holder for the highest number of catches (210) is expected to pause his cricketing journey though fans can still watch him during this season's Indian Premier League, in which he will lead Rajasthan Royals.

Speculation has been rife about his impending departure ever since the Australian tour saddled him with meagre returns (194 runs averaging 24.25).

Friday could well spell a final full-stop to his career.

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